Healing the Healer

Pu‘u Lapa‘au – the Hawai`i Program for Healthcare Professionals – is the current evolution of a collegial program initiated in 1983 by HMA, with the intent of preserving healthcare professionals’ careers and family lives in the face of impairment.


This is accomplished by offering confidential support and advocacy to physicians, physician assistants, nurses, dentists, psychologists, veterinarians, medical residents, medical students and other healthcare professionals.


Examples of such impairment include but are not limited to:
• Stress management, including burnout
• Substance abuse disorders
• Psychological and physical conditions, including cognitive disorders
• Behavioral issues, including compulsive disorders resembling substance use disorders; and disorders leading to disruption in the workplace
• Sexual misconduct and other boundary violations

Unless the condition is addressed effectively, healthcare professionals commonly face serious consequences, such as loss of employment and practice licensure. The community may lose a valuable, highly trained professional. Predicated on the AMA’s Physician Health Program Model, Pu‘ulu Lapa‘au’s approach reliably works. Multiple evidence-based studies clearly demonstrate that physicians have been able to restore their careers with adherence to program requirements. To ensure both confidentiality and client confidence in the process, individuals considering participation are initially seen without expectation of fee or disclosure to others.


Any healthcare provider may self-refer, refer a colleague, request information, seek screening, or request assistance in obtaining an evaluation or treatment recommendation. Healthcare organizations that are contracted with Pu‘ulu Lapa‘au may refer a healthcare provider. Family members may call for information and guidance.


For more information and assistance, contact Pu‘ulu Lapa‘au at 808.593.7444, or by email at maryann.lentz@hawaiiphp.org.

The Voice of One,
The Strength of Many.

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